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Today's Case

Bahama Joe's Conch Chowder Update

Subject: Bahama Joe's Conch Chowder
From: Hamilton 
Date: 12/2/2021, 10:37 AM

You had a request for the recipe for Bahama Joe's Conch Chowder back in 2013 that I just ran across. 
Here is a picture of the recipe card that was shared to a group chat.  Here is that link.

Here is that picture of the recipe.

Hope that helps. Hamilton.
Hello Hamilton,

That's great! Thanks!

The recipe from the photo is transcribed as the first recipe below. As usual, I wanted to try to obtain some provenance for this recipe. After all, it was just posted in a chat, and it doesn't say "Bahama Joe's" anywhere on it. I wasn't having much success until I noticed "Respro Corporation" printed at the top. Checking the corporate registration for "Respro Corporation", I found that Nancy Buckley is listed as secretary for that company. Then, checking "Bahama Joe's Lobster House, Inc", I found her also listed as a director of that company.

That's good enough for me. Respro and Bahama Joe's are directly connected through Ms Buckley, so the recipe is most likely the correct one.

However, there are other issues facing someone wanting to make a small batch of the chowder at home. It's obviously a food service recipe. It makes 60 gallons, and the ingredient amounts are therefore aimed at making that quantity of chowder. You will have to cut it down, way down. Another thing is the cooking time. It says "cook at least 1/2 hour in steam kettle." Most of us don't have steam kettles at home. It's food service equipment, like cafeterias use. Simmering would be a possible substitute. Is 1/2 hour sufficient cooking time? I looked at a few other conch chowder recipes on the web, and they were simmered for an hour or more. So, you should at least make sure the potatoes are done. If nothing else, you now know the correct ingredients. If you get that far, taste the chowder at 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes, etc. to determine when it's done.

While researching "Respro", I came across another "Bahama Joe's Conch Chowder" recipe posted on Facebook. This one is a home recipe. It's not completely dissimilar to the Respro recipe, but it's not the same, either - there are differences in the ingredients. White wine? Ham? Green pepper? Carrots? Corn? No garlic powder? No provenance is given for this recipe, so I suspect that this recipe is a "tastes-like" recipe, rather than an actual recipe from Bahama Joe's. It's probably best to try this one first. You might also use it as a guide to cut down the ingredient amounts in the other recipe to home size while omitting the extra ingredients and adding some garlic powder. This recipe is the second one below.

Now all you have to do is find some conch. That may be problematic, depending on where you live.

By the way, "Heavenly Wings" in Vero Beach, Florida says on their Facebook page that their conch chowder is made from Bahama Joe's actual recipe.


Conch Chowder

60 Gallon Batch

45 lbs			conch
27 lbs			medium sized onions
42 lbs			celery
30 oz wt		bacon fat
3 #10 cans		diced potatoes or 15 lbs leftover baked potatoes
water			38 gallons
salt			3 cups
msg			3 cups
white pepper		39 tsp.
thyme			30 tsp.
Tabasco sauce		1 1/2 bottle
granulated garlic	18 tsp
Worcestershire		1 1/2 cup

Roux for 60 gallons

12 full ladles melted Victor margarine	
24 lbs all purpose flour

Mix and cook at least 1/2 hour in steam kettle	
Bahama Joe’s Conch Chowder
By Mary Tiffany on Sunday, March 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM

2 Tbls. butter
2 strips of thick bacon cooked crisp and crumbled
1/4 pound smoked ham – finely chopped
1 pound chopped conch with juice
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
6 small or 2 large potatoes, cubed (about 3 cups)
4 stalks of celery, chopped
1 small green pepper seeded and chopped
2 tbls. Fresh thyme
2 cup chicken stock
2 cups clam juice
1 cup of dry white wine
6 ounces of whole kernel corn
2 tbls. Flour  (add more to thicken to desired consistency 
 – with the flour and the cream this will thicken so I wait a few minutes before I add more flour)
1 cup heavy cream
White pepper


In a heavy-bottomed pot large enough to hold all the ingredients, simmer the conch in the clam juice 
and chicken stock for an hour.

Add the wine, onions, celery, carrots, potatoes, parsley, bacon and peppers and simmer another hour.

Add the thyme, cream, flour, salt and white pepper to taste.         

My family likes to add a few dashes of tabasco sauce or old bay to theirs, just to kick it up a notch.

garnish with paprika, pepper, parsley (if desired) and a pat of butter

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